It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved District Administrator, Ms. Vivian E. Jones. After her retirement in December, Vivian’s failing health took her away from us on Thursday, July 2, 2015 while in the care of her loving family members in Saratoga Springs, New York. On Monday, July 13th we will celebrate The Life of Vivian Jones at the Tunison Funeral Home located, 105 Lake Avenue, Saratoga Springs, New York 12866.
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The many who met and were touched by Vivian and her life’s work can attest that she was equal parts strong mind and ample heart, a humble soul who cared deeply about the issues of the day and their impact on everyday people. And yet she was able to influence public decision making, develop activities of enormous impact and provide motivation, inspiration, and consolation to the younger members of the staff.
Vivian Jones goes back to Congressman Rangel’s days at Weaver, Evans, Wingate & Wright. She was his administrative assistant when he first practiced law. She became a part of the campaign staff in March of 1970, when the Congressman, then a young New York State Assemblyman challenged the legendary Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. for the Congressional Seat.
Upon election to the Congress, she joined the Congressional Staff as his Executive Secretary. As a freshman Congressman, Mr. Rangel was the beneficiary of Vivian’s previous experience with secretarial and paralegal work. She immediately became responsible for his schedule and constituent services in the district office, which was all done without computers in those early days of his career in the House.
In 1975, Vivian succeeded Virginia Bell as the District Administrator (District Director). As the District Administrator, her responsibilities expanded to the role of a Cheif of Staff in the District. Viv managed the district offices, directed work activities, supervised staff, and oversaw and coordinated activities in the different communities of the Congressional District. As a woman in this role in the 1970’s and proceeding decades, she was quite an effective leader and powerful force in pushing the Congressman’s agenda forward in the district. She continued this role until January 1999, when Vivian relinquished her role, reducing her work load, and went part-time.
Although at part-time, a loyal colleague, Vivian Jones, coordinated Mr. Rangel’s schedule in conjunction with the scheduler in Washington, DC. She handled all personnel matters pertaining to district staff, and prepared correspondences of varying complexity for the Congressman’s signature. Vivian continued to arrive at the office in the wee hours of the morning on her assigned days. As always, she remained committed to offering a sympathetic ear or to jump start a slow or reluctant bureaucracy for a constituent.
For over 50 years, Vivian’s dynamic spirit and sense of purpose served Congressman Rangel and all of her past colleagues as a motivation and driving force. She provided the people of the Congressional District incredible assistance over her 40 years of service to the Congress and was a devoted friend to her colleagues and agency staff.
She is survived by her brother Neil Jones and her niece Joyce Rodriguez. Any expressions of kindness and/or condolences can be sent to her surviving family members directly to the Funeral Home or to her family home at 12 Kaydeross Avenue West, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866.